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Poster: light into ashes Date: May 10, 2011 3:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

A couple brief notes:

I think GDTRFB>OMSN was a fairly common segue, and it was always abrupt. I think there's just no way to "jam" into the Saturday Night intro (at least I don't remember any examples right now), it always has to start cold after they stop the previous tune. Sugar Magnolia has a big advantage in that regard - Weir could start doing that intro anywhere, and often did!

As for Wharf Rat possibly being spontaneous; my theory is that over the years Jerry kept his "ballad slot" choice open - so the band knows they're going into a slow Jerry tune, but not which one, since he preferred to go with the mood of the moment. I could be mistaken (or thinking more of the '80s), but I think there are many instances where the band sort of drifts for a bit before Jerry makes his choice, or where he rejects a call (for, say, Wharf Rat) that Lesh or Weir makes.

As for Morning Dew, I suspect every time it was used in a segue in late '73 was well-planned - that song has a very 'set' climax, so they already know when they're going to shift it into Playing or UJB, and do it very deftly.
The most surprising example is actually the famous 10/18/72 show, where that Dark Star>Dew>Playing reprise comes out of nowhere, was obviously planned out, and yet nothing like it was repeated for another year!

The careful construction of Dead sets is in itself an interesting subject. For listeners used to the format of later years, where a whole set can be carefully segued & emotionally plotted, these early '70s second sets can seem almost haphazard sometimes. Aside from the individual song segues, there's a larger story over the years of the different ways the Dead used long medleys to tie their sets together.

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Poster: bkidwell Date: May 10, 2011 3:36am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

I can't resist posting just on the basis of the fact that we both wrote posts in responses to each other's posts (see mine above) that make reference to the 10/18/72 that were submitted about 90 seconds apart. I guess that show is an inevitable reference point in terms of Playin segues.

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Poster: Jack o' Roses Date: May 10, 2011 5:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...TJI

Infancy? (~)Six years puts this Forum in the first grade (or at least out of kindergarten), does it not?

Excellent scholarship my friends! Quite the unusual topic for morning meditation, I find.

TJI adds an unusual post script to this thread, BTW, IMHO, YMMV,(did I miss any other scholarly acronyms?)....

Many thanks,

This post was modified by Jack o' Roses on 2011-05-10 12:47:34

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Poster: scotch_glass Date: May 10, 2011 3:54pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: A Question about Grateful Dead sets...

Thanks to LiA and all for their input and really taking off with discussion on this topic. I suppose my answer lies in some of the quotes posted by the band members. I am fortunate to be in the very "infant" stage of my research into the band and their music. The resource of the Archive and the forum is a very valuable tool. It does feel overwhelming at times to know there is so much material to listen to but it never takes away from the enjoyment of listening. It's discussions like this that make you realize how much there is to the Grateful Dead"s music.

Listening to the music "comprehensively and analytically", as bkidwell put it, has been an eye opening experience for me. While my previous appreciation of the band was limited to offical releases, my deeper exploration into the entire band's history has led me to a whole new level of pleasure while listening to show after show. With notebook and iPod constantly in tow, I hope to someday make my observations and writings a resource for all to enjoy and possibly learn from.

Back on topic, I can't help but feel like it takes a little away from the mysitique that some of the playing knowing that it was pre-planned in some way. In no means does it make it any less enjoyable though. With that being said, an example like the segment from 3/23/74, Playin> Uncle John's Band> Morning Dew> Uncle John's Band> Playin can easily prove me wrong because quite possibly the first 3 songs were pre-planned but then spontaneously reverted back to how it began. This musical palindrome whether planned or not is still one of my favorite moments that I have listened to during the infancy of my musical journey.